Jump to content
Forums upgraded! Read more... ×
cn-nadc.net | North Atlantic Defense Coalition
oddsox

Ferguson, Missouri

Recommended Posts

Well they don't necessarily HAVE to wait for anyone you know in case someone is in the commission of a crime and all, in any case I'll bet he's wishing he'd handled things differently. I just don't understand how someone that sloppy about their work could be issued a badge. It's scary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I think a major issue with policing these days is that they are developing the "soldier mentality". Whereas policing is meant to be about engaging with the community I think police today are perhaps more aggressive than they have to be.

The idea of police being armed with guns is something I find odd and slightly terrifying. In the UK we have the principle of "policing by consent"--that the police force owe their allegience to the public, not to the state--and it's felt by 82% of officers here that arming them would undermine this principle.1

Each police department has a very small, highly trained armed response unit, typically armed with sub-machine guns, that they can deploy in the event of a firearms incident, but the other 95% of officers are armed with CS spray, batons, handcuffs, a radio, and in some cases tasers. (Exceptions are units protecting airports and important government buildings, who tend to be armed with assault rifles.) The structure of the police is also done in a civilian manner, with no military titles (except for sergeant). All of this is done to maintain the idea that "the police are the public and the public are the police" and to protect the idea that the police are not soldiers or a paramilitary force.2

 

I wonder if this mentality (admittedly combined with a lack of gun culture) has some pretty significant effects. For civilians, more people in the US by American officers just in January 2013 than people killed in the UK by British officers since 1900. 3,4 Similiarly, 1 British police officer was killed in the line of duty in all of 2013, where 105 American officers were killed in 2013. (No British officers were killed in 2010 or 2011, and the shooting of two in 2012 was headline news for weeks.)5,6

 

It does seem that the US is quite exceptional in how much people want to shoot each other, but Canada7 and Australia8 also have higher rates than the UK of people being killed by police and vice versa. Of course, there are nations like Sweden with comparable rates of shooting and crime to the UK.9

 

I guess the question remains on how to curb the militarisation of a state-loyal police force that feels threatened, particularly with an aim towards slowly rebuilding trust and respect between civilians and police in places where they have become two disjoint communities.

 

References:

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19641398

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police#Metropolitan_police_force

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_States,_January_2013

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_killed_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_Kingdom

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_Canada

[8] http://theconversation.com/shoot-to-kill-the-use-of-lethal-force-by-police-in-australia-34578(Interesting read.)

[9] http://www.channel4.com/news/police-fatal-shooting-trigger-happy-fact-check

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a root cause of crime and thus gun-crime and over-policing is the marginalization of Black people in America. 

 

http://www.citylab.com/crime/2012/12/geography-us-gun-violence/4171/

 

I mean, if you look at this list:

 

Cities with the Highest Rates of Gun-Related Homicides
(per 100,000 people)
Rank City City Rate Metro Rate City/Metro Ratio 1 New Orleans 62.1 24.1 2.6 2 Detroit 35.9 9.3 3.9 3 Baltimore 29.7 10.3 2.9 4 Oakland, CA 26.6 7.1 3.7 5 Newark 25.4 3.3 7.7 6 St. Louis 24.1 7.2 3.3 7 Miami 23.7 6.3 3.8 8 Richmond 23.1 7.4 3.1 9 Philadelphia 20 7.8 2.6 10 Washington, D.C. 19 5.5 3.5

 

All of the cities on the top 10 cities are extremely segregated. If you go to any of them you will know to avoid the "Ghetto" areas-- aka where all the Black people are. And in those areas, jobs are hard to come by and people there are stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty. The so called "War on Drugs" has only compounded this issue-- disproportionately affecting African Americans and throwing them in jail for drug use. And the US prison system is hardly re-formative, rather it does a better job in turning small time criminals into bigger criminals. 

 

TL;DR- it's a giant sugar-fest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The idea of police being armed with guns is something I find odd and slightly terrifying.

 

Given the number of guns out there in the USA, I think that their police need to be armed - every incident they go to could easily end up involving firearms, and you don't want to be sitting around being shot at with only a can of pepper spray as backup.

 

Conversely though, IMO this also means that the police over there may tend to escalate quickly - once a situation goes south chances are that a gun will get pulled, so logically it is best to be the first one with a gun out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×